In this habilitation thesis we provide an introduction to gravitational models in two spacetime dimensions. Focus is put on exactly solvable models. We begin by introducing and motivating different possible gravitational actions, including those of generalized dilaton theories as well as of purely geometrical, higher derivative theories with and without torsion. The relation among them as well as to Poisson sigma models is worked out in some detail. In the exactly solvable cases, such as pure gravity-Yang-Mills systems, the general solution to the field equations on a global level is reviewed. Quantization of such models is performed in the Dirac approach, where, by use of the formulation as Poisson sigma models, all admissible physical quantum states are obtained. Table of contents: 1. Introduction, 2. 2d geometry and gravitational actions, 3. Generalized dilaton theories and matter actions, 4. 2d gravity-Yang-Mills systems in terms of Poisson sigma models, 5. Classical solutions on a local level, 6. Classical solutions on a global level, 7. Towards quantum gravity. (In part this work contains/summarizes previous joint work with T. Kloesch and P. Schaller).